Society of self-control

Personal exhibition of of Dmitry Samodin
09.11.2013 to 29.11.2013
Ozerkovskaya emb, 26

In modern society of neoliberal capitalism, any unachievable utopian goal has a potential to become the hottest commodity. The same fate has befallen the freedom – an ideal condition of unconfinement, a condition when being in this world has no limitations whatsoever. The more idealized the myth of freedom has grown and more intensely it has been forced on us by media, and higher price we have had to pay for this product – a sensation of freedom, of its fugitive and localized presence – the more scarce thing it has grown to be. Developing consumer society and advancing technologies make each person available to get in contact with anytime day and night and virtually everywhere with the list of demands placed by society on each its member expanding while the demands themselves grow more and more rigorous. What a man does leaves an electronic trace and makes it available for everybody who cares – pals, fellow-workers, bosses and relatives – to see and judge. Express prohibition becomes a rare thing while the number of indirect limitations grows: the society dictates, forces on people with an “iron hand in a velvet glove” some behavior it approves of by way of comments and the “likes” generated by circle of “followers and friends”, by transformed attitude, and changes in circle, of people you communicate with and your well-being is dependent on. And usually you have to follow the most secure strategy by keeping under your permanent control own words and posts. Formal mechanical censorship becomes increasingly obsolete; the time sets up new sophisticated limitations – an all-out self-censorship. One starts to be obsessed about monitoring one’s every step and the freedom shrinks like shagreen skin.

The Project of Dmitry Samodin is dedicated to learning how to steer clear of such limitations. It’s just small gaps between those that afford some localized and so longed-for freedom. It shows up in the form of absence of limitations, as a pause and a void, as a breath of fresh air that becomes so rare thing in our technogenic world. The Project is accompanied by excerpts from social networks and recordings from surveillance cameras. Sure, Big Brother does keep an eye on you, but you do have a chance to dodge it, while there is no way to get away from yourself.